Chouffe, (Belgium)

Verdict : 1st Place – La Chouffe, 2nd) Houblon 3rd) Mc Chouffe

1) Mc Chouffe, 8% ABV

My notes:

  • My Rating: B
  • Why I love it: malty rich
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor
  • How much: $4 , 330ml, 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours dark root beer brown, small head ,sticky lacing, micro CO2, lots of active CO2 streams. Medium malts on the nose. Tastes of malted caramel, alcohol kicks in the mids, 8/10-level heavy sweetness, a bit of roastedness, mild cinnamon/nutmeg spices, cola, silky creamy mouthfeel, finishes rich deep bitter but also alcoholic. Medium complexity, med-high depth, good transitions, good carry, good drinkability. No wow-factor here; I prefer the La Chouffe or the Houblon.

2) La Chouffe, 8% ABV

My notes:

  • My Rating: B+
  • Why I love it: super smooth and crisp
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor
  • How much: $4 , 330ml, 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours clear dark amber, almost no head, micro CO2. Minor malts on the nose. 7/10-level sweetness, alcoholic backdrop, sweet malts, honey, chamomile, orange, cinnamon, coriander, creamy mouthfeel, tingly CO2, clean finish with only traces of bitterness. Medium complexity, medium depth, great transitions, good carry, great drinkability. Like the Houblon but without the long lingering bitter finish.

3) Houblon Chouffe – Dobbelen IPA tripel, 9% ABV

My notes:

  • My Rating: B+
  • Why I love it: smoothly crisp
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor
  • How much: $4 , 330ml, 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours bright amber yellow, small head, micro CO2. Medium malts on the nose. Burst of 8/10-level sweetness up front, alcoholic malts, orange citrus, dry hops, pine, ends with a long lingering bitter finish. Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, good carry, good drinkability. All-around solid tripel.

Mort Subite Kriek (Belgium)

Mort Subite Kriek (Cherry), 4.5% ABV, (Belgium)

About:

“The Kriek Mort Subite is brewed according to the ancestral lambic recipe. This original Belgian beer ferments spontaneously. Enriched with cherries, it matures soft and slowly in oaken casks. To be served cool. Ingredients: water, malted barley, wheat, cherry juice and elderberry juicecorn, sugar, hops.”

My notes:

  • My Rating: A-
  • Why I love it: extremely clean cherry flavour
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5 , 375ml, 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes definitely
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes definitely

Tasting notes: pours clear vampiric red, minimal head with almost no retention, and a few slow-moving CO2 streams. Red cherry juice on the nose. Drinks with a gentle 6/10-level sweetness, cherry juice up front, 3/10-level tartness and a mild sourness, tingly and soft carbonation, light malted finish. Some notes of elderberry with the cherry. Low-medium complexity, low-medium depth, excellent transitions, good carry, great drinkability. Super smooth and easy to drink, solid and always worth a go.

Raspberry Wheat Ale – Granville Island Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Raspberry Wheat Ale – Granville Island Brewing, 5% ABV, (Vancouver, Canada)

One the front label:

“Raspberry Wheat Ale combines malt, water, hops, yeast and raspberries to create a light wheat ale with a crisp and distinctive raspberry finish. Raspberry wheat ale can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a variety of fresh fruit dishes, fresh salads, chicken or a light meat. It is a must have for summer evenings or a picnic in the park.”

My notes:

  • My Rating: C
  • Why I don’t like it: thin-bodied, watery
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6 , 650ml, Summer, 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not really

Tasting notes: pours clear pinkish-orange with minimal head, a plethora of fast-moving CO2 streams. Aromatic juicy raspberries on the nose. Starts of very promising with flavours of fresh raspberries, strawberries, jam, but ends abruptly with a water mid-palate and flat light malt finish. Low-medium complexity, low-medium depth, below average transitions, crappy carry, good drinkability. While drinkable and refreshing with an outdoor bbq’d meal, I can’t say it’s a good session beer.

Bloed, Zweet & Tranen (Blood, sweat, & tears) – Brouwerij de Molen (Holland)

Bloed, Zweet & Tranen (Blood, sweat, & tears) – Brouwerij de Molen, 8.2% ABV, (Bodegraven, Holland)

My notes:

  • My Rating: B
  • Why I like it: full-roast without the major heaviness
  • Where I got it: Bin 104
  • How much: $6 , 33cl, May/2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours black with a shade of brown, massive foamy head, very long retention with lots of active CO2 streams. Major peat on the nose. Tastes of peat up front, heavy malts, bitter chocolate, burnt coffee, and finishes with a long deep bitter finish. Medium-high complexity, medium-high depth, good transitions, great carry, great drinkability. Light viscosity compared to a lot of dark roasted beers, this one is closer to water.

Pannepot Old Fisherman’s Ale 2007, 10% ABV, (Belgium)

On the side label:

“In the early 1900s, the village of De Panne, close to the French border, was famous for two things — the ‘Pannepots,’ or fishing boats, that could be seen along the coast, and the unique dark ale enjoyed by the local fishermen. Our Old Fisherman’s Ale is a tribute to these hardy sailors and their rich, flavorful brew. Unfiltered. Unpasteurized. Bottle-conditioned”

My notes:

  • My Rating: B-
  • Why I like it: full-bodied and drinkable
  • Where I got it: Sherbrooke
  • How much: $6 (after 10%), 11.2 fl.oz., May/2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours jet black, small head, thin micro CO2 retention. Heavy caramel malts on the nose. A rich malted caramel flavour up front, transitions into figs, dates, prunes, chocolate. Medium-high depth, medium complexity, good transitions, great depth, good drinkability. Quite a heavy beer, the malts and richness weigh you down while the ABV hits hard but stealthily.

Texas Ranger BARREL AGED (Speyside Edition) – Mikkeller (Denmark)

Texas Ranger BARREL AGED (Speyside Edition), 6.6% ABV, (Denmark)

On the back label:

“Danish: En Porter brygget specielt til Texas på: vand, malt (smoked, maris otter, cara-crystal, brown og chocolate), ristet byg, humle (zeus, saaz og centennial), gær og chipotle chili. Lagret på Speyside Whisky Barrels i 3 måneder.”

My notes:

  • My Rating: A
  • Why I like it: suuuuuuper smooth mocha
  • Where I got it: Sherbrooke
  • How much: $10 (after 10%), 37.5cl, May/2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes, I’d buy a half case
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours coffee black, small head, micro CO2 ringed retention. Coffee and heavy malts on the nose. Roasted coffee hits your first, followed by mocha, sweet chocolate, vanilla, cocoa nibs, chipotle chile, soy sauce, all mixed with a creamy mouthfeel, and 5/10-level sweetness and coffee-like viscosity. Finish is soft and bittersweet with a mild spicy hot kick. Medium-high complexity, high depth, excellent transitions, great carry, excellent drinkability. Sourness is expertly controlled leading to a smooth drinking and very sippable experience.

Spontancranberry & Spontangrape – Mikkeller (Denmark)

Mikkeller fruit beer (Denmark)

1) Spontancranberry – Mikkeller, 7.7% ABV

My notes:

  • My Rating: C+
  • Why I like it: distinct cranberry flavour
  • Where I got it: Sherbrooke
  • How much: $10 (after 10%), 37.5cl, May/2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours red wine red, massive thick foamy head with long retention. Ultra strong 10/10-level tartness, 9/10-level sourness, clean cranberry flavour, 3/10-level sweetness, traces of barnyard funk. Low-medium complexity, medium depth, okay transitions, good carry, average drinkability. It’s so darn tart and sour I’m not sure how to enjoy it.

2) Spontangrape – Mikkeller, 7.7% ABV

My notes:

  • My Rating: C+
  • Why I like it: drinks like a champagne-beer
  • Where I got it: Sherbrooke
  • How much: $10 (after 10%), 37.5cl, May/2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours clear filtered apple juice yellow, nice thick head, thin-foamy retention, micro CO2. Sour apples and grapes on the nose. Tastes of champagne, vinegar, 9/10-level sourness, 3/10-level sourness, some barnyard, puke, and finishes slightly malty. Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, good carry, decent drinkability. I like this a more than the Spontancranberry, due to it’s controlled sourness.